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Emotional Packaging

By: Jeff Falk
Posted: May 3, 2007, from the May 2007 issue of GCI Magazine.

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“One of the things, as a designer—at least in my case—that’s important, is to create a bottle that’s going to be consistent with the image of the name, celebrity or designer that’s behind the fragrance. Not to just create a good-looking bottle that you can put anybody’s name on,” said Rosen.

Furthermore, the bottle must support the marketing strategy, which includes understanding whether the fragrance is celebrity-keyed, fashion designer influenced or, according to Green, reflects a more mobile, technologically committed consumer who is rarely faithful to any product for long.

And what is the fragrance trying to say? Femininity, masculinity, fashion and sex appeal have long been part of the language of fragrance, but, according Rosen, new categories and images are emerging. Rosen cites Juicy Couture’s eponymous fragrance, which through its packaging and advertising, has created an image about humor. The bottle looks like a bottle within a bottle, and the decorations include two terriers supporting a crown and coat of arms.

Lines and colors, which Bloom sees as the biggest change in the current evolution of bottles, also play an important role.
“If the fragrance is erotic, it demands a voluptuous bottle that is sensuous to the eye and touch, and colors such as red, purple and blue are important” said Green. “On the other hand, if the fragrance is sportive in nature, a clean, clear line is usually chosen as the design.”

Elegant, “dress-up” fragrances are expressed through sophisticated designs with the intention of imparting confidence and a dash of glamour, and the current trend for scents formulated to soothe the psyche are found in smooth, easy to handle bottles. When fashion is the primary expression or image of the fragrance, designers opt for unusual bottles and combinations of materials.